And now, a word from our sponsors …

If you’ve stumbled across this site, or followed the link this week from “Whispers in the Loggia,” welcome!

And now, an explanation:

As of this writing, this is still a test site, a prototype (should we call it the beta version?) for a new “CNS News Hub” that we might launch later this year. The current News Hub is still alive at the Catholic News Service Web site; most of what you’ll see here is merely copied from the current site.

Since this is a mere prototype, we weren’t going to announce it until we had the completed final design. But like all things on the Internet, it didn’t take long for Rocco Palmo to find it (probably because we had just linked to a story on his talk in Madison).

So, if you’re reading this before we “go live,” forgive the dust that you’re bound to get on your sandals as you poke around in our construction zone. We won’t tell the vice principal that you’re wandering the hallways without a hall pass.

Monk never imagined this life for himself

A newly professed Benedictine monk in Arkansas explains his vocation path to the Arkansas Catholic, newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock. The story also includes a link to a typical day in the life of a monk. It was part of the paper’s special section on vocations, which also is worth a look.

Chinese church still stymied, says Hong Kong cardinal

Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun is on a three-week North American tour. First stop: Los Angeles. The Tidings has the details.

‘Origins’ focuses on pope’s Brazil trip

Origins, the CNS Documentary Service, this week has three texts from Pope Benedict XVI’s trip to Brazil:

  • In a wide-ranging and widely quoted address opening a conference of Latin American and Caribbean bishops, the pope discusses Christianity’s encounter with indigenous cultures, globalization, the failures of Marxism and capitalism, poverty, and the link between social needs and religious renewal as he underlines the central theme of his papacy: “the unique and irreplaceable importance of Christ for us, for humanity.” (Subscribers: click here)
  • The pope urges young people gathered in a Sao Paulo stadium to be “apostles of youth,” sharing generously the hope and joy they derive from their faith with peers who seek to mask their fears — of death, of failure or of a lack of meaning in their lives — with violence, drugs or excessive ambition for wealth and power. (Subscribers: click here)
  • The pope encourages the 446 Brazilian bishops — the world’s largest episcopate — to make outreach to fallen away Catholics and the unchurched a priority, sending missionaries door to door to preach the Gospel and, where necessary, to meet the material needs of the people they encounter, whose faith may be “weak, confused, easily shaken and naive despite their innate religiosity” due to an incomplete evangelization. (Subscribers: click here)